The council is supporting a nationwide campaign encouraging members of the public to report child abuse.
The council wants local people to overcome any fears they have around the issue. Many people find the decision to report child abuse a difficult one. They worry about overreacting or being wrong, and may question whether they have strong enough evidence, or if they have misread the signs of abuse or misunderstood a situation. These fears are understandable, but often unfounded.
Another big worry people have is that someone will find out they have made a report, but this is unlikely to happen as you can make the call anonymously, although most people do give their details.
Some people don’t report suspected abuse because they think it might just be a one-off. But even if that is the case, every child deserves to be protected and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Steve Reddy, Executive Director for Families & Wellbeing said: “The council fully supports this campaign and would encourage anyone with concerns of abuse to act now and speak up. You don’t need to be absolutely certain of what you’ve seen or heard to call the social care team. Information is usually gathered from many sources, and your report would form one part of a bigger picture.
“The risk of not speaking up could have a devastating impact on a child or young person. If you have a feeling that something’s not right, talk to the social care team who can look into it.”
Research shows that some people prefer to talk to someone such as a partner, family member or friend before making a report – and that’s perfectly fine. They may also wait until they are certain before making an official report.
Child abuse. If you think it, report it. Ring 01925 443400